Saturday 20 Jul 2024

Those eating vada pao, sleeping under trees not tourists: Lobo

Says everything in Goa more expensive than other destinations

The Goan Network | FEBRUARY 08, 2024, 01:42 AM IST

MAPUSA

Admitting that other international destinations have been attracting more tourist footfalls as compared to Goa, Calangute MLA Michael Lobo took a dig at those visiting Goa on a shoestring budget and said they should not be called tourists.

Speaking to reporters at his Calangute office on Wednesday, Lobo said Goa was once a favourite destination on the global tourism map, but tourists now prefer to visit Thailand, Malaysia, Mauritius, and Vietnam.

“This is because these countries are far cheaper than Goa. That’s why these international tourist destinations are attracting more tourist footfalls as compared to Goa,” said Lobo.

“Everything in Goa has become expensive, including the airfare, hotel tariff, taxi travel and other things, which is why the number of quality tourists has reduced considerably.”

Incidentally, Lobo’s statement echoes the comments by Transport Minister Mauvin Godinho who had claimed that tourists are moving to other countries as they find everything expensive in Goa.

“If we wish to attract quality tourists, we must compete with the tourism destinations where these tourists prefer to visit. We must keep our rates little lower than those destinations. It is time to send this message to all those associated in the tourism sector,” said Lobo.

The Calangute MLA also took a dig at those visiting Goa on a shoestring budget.

“Those who sleep on the beaches or under the trees and eat Vada Pao or Idli Sambar cannot be called tourists. These visitors come by their own vehicles and are not customers for hotels and restaurants. Last December, the State mainly witnessed such type of visitors and they do not live in hotels.”

“Quality tourists are reducing, and only domestic tourists are visiting Goa,” he added.

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